Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cure

I see a lot of new patients. I am frequently asked the same question by perplexed souls who have heard contradictory information from disparate sources. "Can Lyme be cured?"

Just not the question I want to hear at our first meeting. I sigh -  then frequently launch into a long winded diatribe. When I stop, hoarse and breathless,  the would-be patient is frequently none-the-wiser.

Lyme bacteria-parasites are uninvited quests who take up residence in our bodies/hosts.  Having limited metabolic capabilities they live off the land. From an evolutionary point of view they certainly don't want the host/new home to perish.  But they don't care if they make us sick. In fact, sick is better. A crippled immune system helps them flourish.

These long, thin, undulating bacteria slither through our skin and quickly disseminate throughout our bodies thwarting the best efforts of our elegant immune system. It  seems no matter what our immune system throws at them they are always in the ready with ingenious counter-measures, seemingly always one step ahead.

The details of all this are elaborated elsewhere. Briefly: Lyme bacteria  make the most of the tick environment, alter host immunological mediators (cytokines) to their advantage, camouflage themselves, continually manipulate developed targets of the host immune system,  sequester themselves in protected niches such as "immuno-prievledged areas like the brain, hide in deep tissues poorly supplied by blood as they do not require oxygen,  survive in biofilm communities, or simply role themselves up into a ball.

Studies in both animals and humans have proved the stubbornness of these micro-organisms repeatedly.

If cure means the eradication of all the Lyme bacteria the answer is no.

If cure means feeling normal again the answer is yes.

Getting there is the trick and  usually not so easy.

Does that help?

7 comments:

LML said...

Then can you explain why some patients, who go through years of treatment recover and don't need to treat with antibiotics again??? It would seem that they would be cured. Are you saying that this is not reality? How are they healthy and active if they still have Lyme Disease?

LML said...

I should apologize for my super direct form of questions - they were all the questions that went through my head but in typing them out and re-reading they come off quite aggressive rather than curious. Sorry for that - I truly am just curious! Thanks!! :-)

Camp Other said...

I'm thinking there are two hypotheses about the state of cure at this point:

1) The antibiotics will eventually wipe out most of the spirochetes and the immune system - if strong enough - will mop up the rest.

or

2) The antibiotics will eventually wipe out most of the spirochetes, some might survive and go into a dormant state and stay that way. A significant stressor might bring them out of dormancy.

It isn't entirely clear what happens in some people.

There is evidence that plenty of people are seropositive for Lyme disease yet are asymptomatic. They live normal healthy lives.

I wish I could be one of those people. If Borrelia would just be a commensal organism and stop making me sick, I could live with that. We could both live with that, really, just as the lactobacillus and I get along just fine.

Mirela Zeicu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mirela Zeicu said...

There are three elements that should be considered LML. The number of years that a patient has been going on without treatment, the actual level of infection in the body, it's quite hard to determine the level of infection but certainly the symptoms CAN tell a lot.

Another important thing to know is that Lyme Disease cannot be treated with antibiotics alone - hence, in a patient has a highly sedentary life, doesn't exercise, eats junk, smokes or drinks it's most likely they'll never be cured no matter what.

It's quite hard to say that a patient that has been infected for over 30 years will be treated with a course of 6 months of antibiotics, and even if he/she IS treated the damage in the body cannot be restored (brain lessions, spine lesions, arthritis complications and so on and so forth.

Antibiotics will kill most of the bacteria but not all of them have the ability to penetrate the exact locations where the bacteria is the MOST abundant.

Herxheimer reactions can cause a lot of damage to the body, simply because the bio-toxins produce inflammation and appropriate detoxification is required.

Just some of the basics...

boala lyme romania

Mirela Zeicu said...

There are three elements that should be considered LML. The number of years that a patient has been going on without treatment, the actual level of infection in the body, it's quite hard to determine the level of infection but certainly the symptoms CAN tell a lot.

Another important thing to know is that Lyme Disease cannot be treated with antibiotics alone - hence, in a patient has a highly sedentary life, doesn't exercise, eats junk, smokes or drinks it's most likely they'll never be cured no matter what.

It's quite hard to say that a patient that has been infected for over 30 years will be treated with a course of 6 months of antibiotics, and even if he/she IS treated the damage in the body cannot be restored (brain lessions, spine lesions, arthritis complications and so on and so forth.

Antibiotics will kill most of the bacteria but not all of them have the ability to penetrate the exact locations where the bacteria is the MOST abundant.

Herxheimer reactions can cause a lot of damage to the body, simply because the bio-toxins produce inflammation and appropriate detoxification is required.

Just some of the basics...

boala lyme romania

Mirela Zeicu said...

There are three elements that should be considered LML. The number of years that a patient has been going on without treatment, the actual level of infection in the body, it's quite hard to determine the level of infection but certainly the symptoms CAN tell a lot.

Another important thing to know is that Lyme Disease cannot be treated with antibiotics alone - hence, in a patient has a highly sedentary life, doesn't exercise, eats junk, smokes or drinks it's most likely they'll never be cured no matter what.

It's quite hard to say that a patient that has been infected for over 30 years will be treated with a course of 6 months of antibiotics, and even if he/she IS treated the damage in the body cannot be restored (brain lessions, spine lesions, arthritis complications and so on and so forth.

Antibiotics will kill most of the bacteria but not all of them have the ability to penetrate the exact locations where the bacteria is the MOST abundant.

Herxheimer reactions can cause a lot of damage to the body, simply because the bio-toxins produce inflammation and appropriate detoxification is required.

Just some of the basics...

boala lyme romania